Bolsonaro attacks Europe and moves closer to the United States


AFP, published on Friday, August 30, 2019 at 23:34

President Jair Bolsonaro said Friday that Europe had "no lesson to give" in Brazil on the Amazon, while his Foreign Minister was pleased that his country and the United States are "on the same wavelength "after an interview with Donald Trump.

The head of the Brazilian diplomacy, Ernesto Araujo, and Eduardo Bolsonaro, the deputy son of the president and possible future ambassador in Washington, went Friday to the White House, looking for support while Brazil has been for a week under a intense international pressure.

The two men spoke for about thirty minutes with the American president.

"Governments are on the same wavelength," Araujo told reporters afterwards, welcoming "for the first time" the US president receives officials who do not have the rank of president or chief of staff. 'State.

According to the Brazilian minister, "governments share the view that countries are sovereign on their territory" and that fires in the world's largest rainforest should not be "a pretext to promote the idea of ​​a committee to manage the Amazon ".

The US president congratulated Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday, saying he was "working very hard" in the fight against fires in the Amazon, taking the complete opposite of other members of the G7. He had expressed the "unqualified support" of the United States in Brazil.

– New lights –

On the ground, the fires continued to progress, despite a temporary ban on burns and the mobilization since the last weekend of 18 aircraft and 3,900 men in the Amazon.

Some 2,300 new fires have been recorded in Brazil by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), including nearly 1,500 in the nine states of the Amazon.

The total number of fires recorded in the country since January is over 87,000, the highest since 2010, when more than 132,000 were recorded over the same period.

Para is the most affected state with 587 new fires in 24 hours (+ 67%). In the Rondônia, where the army concentrated its efforts, 67 new homes were raised, three times more than the day before.

It is "not true" that the Amazon rainforest is "on fire," said Bolsonaro on Facebook on Thursday night, while assuring that "the fires this year are below average in recent years".

The far-right president has accused the Brazilian press of "feeding" international concern about it.

– "Return to normality" –

Friday, he attacked Europe. He felt that she "had no lesson to give" in Brazil on the environment.

Bolsonaro told reporters in Brasilia that he needs to talk on the phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He added that he had felt at home a desire to "return to normalcy" after tense exchanges when Germany suspended at the beginning of August part of its subsidies for the preservation of the Amazon.

Jair Bolsonaro had advised the Chancellor to "reforest Germany".

He replied to the journalist who asked him about his latest words: "She (Mrs. Merkel) does not want to have a romantic relationship with me, and you want to complicate things." It's not just Germany, but all Europe that has no lesson to give us on the environment ".

The Brazilian president added that he is "ready to speak with one country or another, except (with) our dear Macron, as long as he does not retract on the sovereignty (of Brazil) on the Amazon".

Jair Bolsonaro has been asking for three days that French President Emmanuel Macron, who felt that the question of sovereignty over the Amazon was open, withdraws his "insults". Brazil is home to 60% of the Amazon rainforest.

On Friday night, Jair Bolsonaro said he would stop using Bic pens, a "French" mark, to sign official documents.

He did not accept $ 20 million of G7 aid for the Amazon, requiring Macron's retraction as a prerequisite for any discussion.

In Ariquemes, an average town 200 km south of Porto Velho in the state of Rondônia, AFP journalists have seen the advance of agriculture and livestock on the forest.

Large, well-defined land properties include extensive fields that are used as pasture for Nelore white cows. On the road that arrives at Ariquemes, there are many shops for tractors and other agricultural equipment as well as advertisements for sale of livestock or veterinary services.

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